Now That’s What I Call Quite Good: Murder Party

murder party indexDirected by Green Room’s Jeremy Saulnier I came across this very, very low budget film on a clickbait-y “Best Comedy Movies Of The 21st Century” article and was surprised as while I’d seen nearly all of the others I’d never heard of it before. It does deserve a higher profile as well, while it’s by no means perfect and you can see how little money they had to spend on both sets and acting there are moments where it’s very funny.

Set at Halloween, Christopher (Chris Sharp) is a parking official who’s working one afternoon when he sees an invitation to a “Murder Party” on the ground, and presumes that it is going to be an exciting and fun party. Which is odd because he doesn’t come across as an absolute idiot but it quickly turns out that he is, because within minutes of arriving he’s tied up and those present are discussing when and how they’re going to kill him.

The central idea is that they’re all the most pretentious of artists that you could ever imagine, and the murder is a work of art that will persuade the disgustingly wealthy Alexander (Sandy Barnett) to give them a grant. Of course not everything goes to plan, soon Christopher has escaped and even when they recapture him there’s unexpected plot turns and everything spirals out of control as these things tend to do.

It’s a dialogue heavy film with a lot of scenes of the various artists bickering, or sycophantly kissing Alexander’s behind, and it’ll probably come as no surprise that he isn’t who he claims to be. There’s one long scene where they all play truth or dare after having injected themselves with a truth drug which is a real slog, it’s an oddly misjudged scene which isn’t funny and features the character’s at their most irritating, and it’s so bad and so long that it loses the film a star.

When the film becomes gory the low budget side of things comes to the fore, with a fair amount of the blood looking rather like tomato ketchup, but if you’re in a forgiving mood these scenes are very fun indeed. It’s not a film I’d wholeheartedly recommend, and it’s definitely an odd old thing, sometimes silly, sometimes absurd, sometimes gory and over the top, and though I struggled with a few bits if you’re fond of horror comedies you may well have a soft spot for this.

★★★

Alex Finch.

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